Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka’s splendid medieval capital was established as the first city of the land in the 11th Century, A.D. It replaced Anuradhapura, which was plundered, made desolate and laid hopelessly bare to the invading armies from South India.
The ruins of the ancient city stand on the east shore of a large artificial lake, the Topa Wewa Lake, or Parakrama Samudraya (the Sea of Parakrama), built by King Parakramabahu I (1153-86), whose reign was Polonnaruwa‘s golden age.
Sri Lanka has long been renowned for its spices. Since ancient times, traders from all over the world who came to Sri Lanka brought their native cuisines to the island, resulting in a rich diversity of cooking styles and techniques. Sri Lankan people use spices liberally in their dishes and typically do not follow an exact recipe.
Visit the spice garden, on the road from the Cultural Triangle to the Hill Country. Here you will learn about Fragrant clove, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, mace and pepper, and many other favourites such as chocolate and vanilla.
(NB. All 3 sites can be combined in a rather long day (7am to 7pm) – though most omit Polonnaruwa on this day trip.)